Bike Ride: Glatt River

I was so happy to find this biking/skating path next to the Glatt river. It’s great for families with little kids. The 11 km section we rode from Bülach to Zweideln is almost exclusively on a wide, paved path along the river, away from car traffic. It’s designed for skating but bikes are allowed. There are a few picnic areas with fire pits but no other services. The train is close by, but only accessible at the middle and end of the trail. So plan ahead in case little riders decide to quit (like one of mine did). We’ve biked this path twice and really liked it.

Location:   Zurich Region
Address: Bahnhofring, 8180 Bülach CH
GPS: 47°31’21.0″N 8°32’15.3″E
Car: ~25 mins from Zurich
Train: ~20 mins from Zurich
Trail: 11.5 km one way, about 1 hour
Condition: dirt and paved, obstacle-free
Skill: easy
Open: year round, weather dependent
More info: www.skatingland.ch

Overview

This path is part of the much longer Flughafen-Glatttal Skate path #44. We started this ride at the Bülach train station and followed the #44 Skate route to Zweideln, about 11.5 km. This section is the most rural and quietest part of the #44 path, most of it away from any roads at all. There are no services along the route until you reach the end, but there a couple picnic areas and water fountains.

Our first time there, my oldest was on rollerblades and we grossly overestimated how far he could skate. About halfway, we left the bike path and walked up a dirt path to the Glattfelden train station and rode back to Bülach.

Getting There

Get yourself to the Bülach train station. There is lots of metered parking at the train station.

We started at the Bülach train station so we could easily ride back to our starting point. We planned to take the train back from Zweildeln but our 8 year old still had some energy, so we just rode back. However, there is a big hill between the Bülach train station and the river. So if you are riding there and back, you might instead park near the river so you don’t have to ride back up that hill. We sent my husband up the hill to get the car and come back and pick us up.

Trail Details

The trail starts right at the train station and turns right to go under a bridge. At the main road, you must cross to the sidewalk on the other side of the street, which as a two lane bike path shown below. This is a long, fairly steep hill, but this is the only hill on the whole ride. Follow signs for the purple skate path #44.

Once you reach the river, it’s smooth sailing.

Sometimes the bike/skate path diverges from the walking path, such as this section which dips into the forest.

Here’s the bit in the forest.

After the forest, there is a short annoying section that is on the road, no bike lane. It is a local road, not heavily trafficked but I felt very nervous because the cars were going rather fast around the corners. I made my littlest walk his bike in the grass on the side of the road in an abundance of caution. But then the path diverges from the road again and continued that way to the end.

We went around 17:00 and it was very lovely at this time of day.

There is a bridge about halfway down the trail. If you turn right on this bridge and follow the dirt footpath up the hill, you will reach the Glattfelden train station, where you can ride back to Bülach.

Right after that bridge, you’ll find this great picnic area with a water fountain.

After this you’ll see more civilization, but it’s still quiet by the river.

Watch out for the shooting range. Part of the bike path is occasionally closed when they are actively shooting, because the bullets fly across the river to targets on the other side. Madness!!!! But they will totally block off the path and clearly mark a detour so no one will get accidentally shot.

Happy biking!

 

 

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